Durant has 33 and Thunder beat Blazers 87-83

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 14, 2013 at 12:16 am •  Published: January 14, 2013
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Ibaka was replaced by Nick Collison in Oklahoma City's starting lineup.

Sefolosha, held back with a sore neck, had also started in all of the Thunder's games this season, averaging 7.5 points and four rebounds. He was replaced by DeAndre Liggins, who made his first career start.

Liggins ended up playing 40 minutes, with 11 points and nine rebounds.

"It was one of our best defensive games of the year, and it's kind of surprising because we did not have two of our best defensive players in the games," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "But that's what team's do. Teams have to step up and figure out ways to win, and our guys came off the bench and did a great job."

The Blazers trailed by eight points early, but pulled to 18-17 on Aldridge's layup and free throw late in the first quarter. Portland couldn't get any closer and Collison's reverse layup midway through the second quarter gave the Thunder a 33-27 lead.

The Blazers responded with a 12-2 run, pulling ahead on a trio of free throws and a 3-pointer from Batum that put Portland ahead 39-25.

Durant was whistled for three fouls and went to the bench but the Thunder kept up the pressure and the Blazers hung onto only a 43-42 lead at the break.

The Thunder pulled back in front, 52-48, after Westbrook's finger-roll layup and Collison's hook shot. Durant made a 3-pointer over Batum to make it 57-50.

Liggins hit a 3 that stretched Oklahoma City's lead to 63-52.

Aldridge and Batum had back-to-back dunks to pull Portland to 72-67 with 8:04 left.

NOTES: There were lots of fans wearing Seattle SuperSonics gear at the Rose Garden, as there always are when Oklahoma City comes to town. But NBA fans from Seattle may not be lamenting the loss of a hometown team much longer. Reports emerged last week that the owners of the Sacramento Kings may be in talks with a group in Seattle that would relocate the team. The Sonics left for Oklahoma City in 2008. A fan in the stands at the Rose Garden held a sign that read "Bring Back the Rivalry!"



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